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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

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Overview

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary, conservation program administered by NRCS that can provide financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that address natural resource concerns.

Interested Applicants

For more information about EQIP, how to apply and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a NRCS field office in the county which you own land or where you have an agricultural operation. 

Visit  USDA Service Center Locator to find the NRCS representative for your county.

Submitting an Application

Any interested farmer or rancher may submit an application for participation EQIP. The Director has established a sign-up period to select the highest ranked applications for funding based on the NRCS ranking process, contract approval is dependent on program eligibility determinations.

Ranking Process

The Director, in consultation with the State Technical Committee has developed ranking criteria to prioritize and subsequently fund applications addressing priority natural resource concerns in The Pacific Islands Area. EQIP funding decisions are based on an evaluation process that includes pre-screening and ranking criteria. Pre-screening is used to prioritize assistance based on factors such as a history of contract compliance. NRCS uses the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) to assess the site vulnerability, existing conditions, and identify potential resource concerns on a unit of land.   After CART assessment, NRCS uses CART Ranking to evaluate an application in all applicable ranking pools.

Fiscal Year 2021 EQIP / AMA Schedule

Batching 
Period
Applicable Ranking Pools Application
Deadline
Screening
Deadline
Funding
Selections
Approval
Deadline
Contract Obligation
Deadline
1 All EQIP Ranking Pools 15-Dec-2020 31-Jan-2021 1-Apr-2021 14-May-2021 2-July-2021

 


 

Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 EQIP / AMA Ranking Pools

 

Eligible PIA Area

15-Mar-2021  Ranking Deadline

HI

AS

CNMI

GU

Local Fund Pools (Competition is Within the Field Office Authorities)

 

 

 

 

Locally Led

Addresses high priority natural resource concerns specific to each NRCS field office service area. 

Conservation benefits may include improved water or air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.

Each field office has its own locally led  rank pool.  Applicants compete within the local field office.  

x

x

x

x

x

Soil Health
Initiative

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices to improve soil health on cropland.

x

x

x

x

x

PIA Fund Pools (Competition is State, Common Wealth, or Territory-Wide in Each Fund Pool)

 

 

 

 

Historically Underserved

The farm bill continues to address the unique circumstances and concerns of historically underserved farmers to provide for voluntary participation, offers incentives and focuses on equity in accessing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services.

  • Beginning Farmers/Ranchers (BFR)
  • Socially Disadvantaged Farmers/Ranchers (SDFR)

x

x

x

x

x

Farmstead / Animal Feeding Operations

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns on farmstead areas with animal feeding operations.  Applicants must have a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) prior to obligation and meet all state, federal and local regulations.

x

x

x

x

x

Wildlife

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for on all eligible lands to create, restore, or protect wildlife habitat.  The wildlife habitat will be species specific. 

x

x

x

x

x

High Tunnel System

The purpose of the “High Tunnel System” conservation practice is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high-value crops in an environmentally safe manner.  The practice has the potential to assist producers to address resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.

x

x

x

x

x

Conservation Activity Plans (CAPS)

Provides financial assistance to help write specific conservation plans written by a Technical Service Provider. These can include plans such as CNMPs or Transition to Organic plans.   

x

x

x

x

x

National EQIP Initiatives

 

 

 

 

National Organic Initiative

Certified and Transitioning

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for organic producers and those transitioning to organic production to address natural resource concerns. It may assist growers meet requirements related to National Organic Program (NOP) requirements.  This initiative has annual and overall payment limitations.

x

x

x

x

x

On-Farm Energy Initiative

Enables the producer to identify ways to conserve energy on the farm through development of Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP) also known as an on-farm energy audit; and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement various conservation practices recommended in these on-farm energy audits.

xx

x

x

x

x

Partner Initiatives

 

 

 

 

RCPP-EQIP-18

DLNR’s Hawaii Watershed Initiative

This partnership program is available on watershed partnership areas on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu. The natural resource concerns will address protection and enhancement of Threatened and Endangered wildlife habitat, water quality improvement, reduce soil erosion and invasive vegetative species on high priority forest lands. Monitoring is a requirement of those selected for the program.

x

x

 

 

 

Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)

AMA is a program for states where participation in Federal Crop Insurance Program is historically low. In Hawaii AMA will be limited to High Tunnel systems and a small suite of supporting practices. This program has annual payment limitations.

x

x

 

 

 


Program Contact

Chad Cherefko, Assistant Director for Programs
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Honolulu State Office, Hawaii
Phone:808-600-2959
Email: Chad.Cherefko@usda.gov